For educational reasons we got a new pet. A snail. Taking care of Him/Her/Both is for kids a very good lesson of responsibility, observing nature and building a curiosity. But if You want to have a snail as Your pet - You need to build a house.
We decided to use one of our flowerpot and cover it with a custom designed wooden frame with a net to prevent a snail to escape.
Here is how we achieved it.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Some pieces of stripwood (I needed: 2x 60cm and 2x 23cm long. I reused leftover of some pergola somebody thrown away in our house's trash bin)
- Flowerpot (I used 19cm x 59cm x 25cm)
- 4 screws, 4 nuts, 8 washers (I used 5mm diameter)
- Some wire
The quantity and dimensions of materials used depend on size of Your flowerpot and final design.
- Drilling machine with a drill
- Wrench which fits to Your screws and nuts
- Wire cutter (You can use pliers)
Step 2: Measuring and Cutting Woodstrips
I measured the size of my flowerpot. I have added ~3cm to shorter edge stripwood as they need to poke out on top of the longer edge stripwoods and need some extra space for screws connection.
After I collected all measurements, I marked them on stripwoods and I cut them - straightforward.
Step 3: Drilling Holes
My woodstrips are ~1.5cm wide so my plan was to use 5mm screws. For that I used 4.5mm drill so screws will pass by tight. After all it was a good decission - screws don't wobble.
I marked points and I drilled - straightforward.
Step 4: Connecting Woodstrips
I put a screw through the washer first and then through holes of shorter and longer woodstrips. Shorter goes over the longer one (according to my design). Then I put a washer on the other side and I screwed them together tightly.
Repeat this 4 times for every corner of a frame.
I was afraid that a frame will wobble making a rhombus shape but tight screwing prevents this from happening.
On the last photo, You can see the intermediate result of the frame laying on top of a flowerpot. Now You can see the reason why the shorter woodstrip was connected on top of a longer one. It keeps longer strips under the flowerpot's edge and prevent the frame from falling.
It doesn't prevent moving the frame right-left direction, but it is just fine as next to it there are other flowerpots with the same dimentions. I consider it as an extra feature so I can slide the frame only a little to access the snail's house without removing the whole frame. You can see how does it work on a short video in final step.
Step 5: Attaching a Net
I had one unused net which originally was used to cover small plants during winter time. I cut it so that on the shorter edge it goes a little bit under the shorter woodstrip. Then I used some wire to attach the net to the frame.
In one of the attempt I used a stapler, but it didn't work nice for me. Woodstrips were too hard for the stapler to correctly stick staples into it. Also it was breaking the net making the connection very weak. So I decided to use just a simple wire and screw it using pliers.
Step 6: Transforming a House Into a Home
In previous steps You can already see the result of making the snails house. I did it in between making a frame. I just wanted steps to make the frame in order. But it actually doesn't matter when exactly are You going to build a house and frame.
- Some weed which snails like to eat
- Bigger and smaller rocks
- Some wooden sticks
(If You ask me how did I get it? Believe me - if You have kids, You just have such stuff in Your house just like that)
I added also a water hole as a kind of bin for water. Remember it shouldn't be too deep as snails can even drawn in there!
Step 7: Final Result
Our snail house is functioning 3 months now. It looks like snails love it. We add them some extra food like extra leaves and fruits. We sprinkle water daily - especially during hot days. Also we put a cover on top of the frame to make more shade so snails can hide there easily.
Step 8: Legal Note
Please note that collecting snails is restricted by law in some countries. We collected our snails legally (minimal shell size and time when You can collect them).
Participated in the